Redesign of a computerized clinical reminder for colorectal cancer screening: a human-computer interaction evaluation

BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2011 Nov 29:11:74. doi: 10.1186/1472-6947-11-74.


Background: Based on barriers to the use of computerized clinical decision support (CDS) learned in an earlier field study, we prototyped design enhancements to the Veterans Health Administration's (VHA's) colorectal cancer (CRC) screening clinical reminder to compare against the VHA's current CRC reminder.

Methods: In a controlled simulation experiment, 12 primary care providers (PCPs) used prototypes of the current and redesigned CRC screening reminder in a within-subject comparison. Quantitative measurements were based on a usability survey, workload assessment instrument, and workflow integration survey. We also collected qualitative data on both designs.

Results: Design enhancements to the VHA's existing CRC screening clinical reminder positively impacted aspects of usability and workflow integration but not workload. The qualitative analysis revealed broad support across participants for the design enhancements with specific suggestions for improving the reminder further.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the value of a human-computer interaction evaluation in informing the redesign of information tools to foster uptake, integration into workflow, and use in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Community Health Services
  • Computer Simulation
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical / instrumentation*
  • Early Detection of Cancer*
  • Humans
  • Indiana
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized / organization & administration*
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized / standards
  • Patient Simulation
  • Reminder Systems*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Software Design*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards
  • Systems Integration*
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • User-Computer Interface*